The government is aiming to strengthen measures against host clubs that charge female customers extortionate fees, with some women accruing massive debts and being forced into prostitution to repay the sums.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the plan for the crackdown on host clubs — bars that provide male drinking companions for female customers — at a plenary session of the Lower House on Nov. 20.

While police had already been cracking down on malicious host clubs, challenges have remained under the scope of the current law regarding the practice of deferred payment, which leads to large bills that some customers cannot pay.